Verizon, Cogent Peer War Leads to Netflix Streaming Issues
June 19, 2013 10:29 AM
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Could Verizon be intentionally slowing Netflix streaming?
If you're having Netflix problems,
may be the culprit.
recently reported that issues between Verizon and bandwidth provider Cogent Communications has resulted in slowed Netflix content delivery. Some problems reported by customers include buffering and pixelated images.
Verizon and Cogent have had issues with peering, where two bandwidth providers exchange traffic for free. Verizon -- the last mile network -- and Cogent currently send and receive traffic to each other via peering at 10 locations.
The problem is that this traffic is ran through ports, which transfer data back and forth at about 10 gigabit per second. When these ports reach around 50 percent of their capacity, Internet providers employ more ports. However, Verizon is letting its ports that exchange traffic with Cogent fill up and degrade, with some at 100 percent of their capacity.
Verizon told Cogent that this is occurring because of traffic from a "large video provider." Verizon never actually mentioned Netflix's name, but Dave Schaffer (CEO of Cogent) said that Netflix is a "big partner" for his company.
Netflix traffic accounts for almost one out of every 3 bits (32.3 percent) sent downstream to users in North America.
It's interesting to note that Verizon owns 50 percent of Redbox, which is a video-over-the-Internet service that competes with Netflix. Some have accused Verizon of purposely slowing Netflix streaming in order to gain Redbox viewers.
Just yesterday, reports started circulating that
Verizon may try to be Canada's fourth major wireless carrier
. Canada currently has three major carriers, including Rogers Communications, Telus Corp and BCE Inc's Bell. But it has been looking for a fourth to increase consumer choice and keep prices competitive.
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I think they did the same thing with Youtube
6/19/2013 1:27:50 PM
The peering they have set up with Google's CDN is terrible. I've got 50/25 FiOS and a 320x240 Youtube video would essentially not buffer until I used firewall rules to block Youtube's CDN (thus forcing connections to go straight to the source). Now, with the firewall rules in place, it's pretty quick. There's numerous posts on Verizon message boards and many other places of other people having this issue.
The root of the problem is that Verizon is "forgetting" that they're a last mile network provider and that their users are ASKING for this data. Thus the peering should probably be much more in Cogent's favor, and Verizon is probably trying to double dip here (i.e. getting paid by end users, and getting a peering advantage out of Cogent).
As an end user, this type of behavior is very frustrating to deal with when the service is otherwise excellent.
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